Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Christos Gage
Artists: Raffaele Ienco, Guy Major, Josh Reed
Release Date: 18th July 2018
[NOTE: Review contains spoilers for Batman: The Telltale Games Series]
One of the unique things about Batman is the fact that absolutely everyone knows who he is. I’d argue that he has finally achieved what the Beatles claimed to do and become “bigger than Jesus,” to the point where if you ask most kids nowadays, even if they’re Marvel fans, they’ll be able to relay the story of Bruce Wayne becoming the iconic pointed-eared Dark Knight.
It’s a hugely familiar origin – a boy heir to the biggest fortune imaginable, his whole life changed by the death of his parents, using the rage inside him to go against the easy life promised to him in order to become something better than just a man and to avenge those who have lost what he had. It’s also It’s a story that has been told and retold countless times, and, over the past 30 years in particular, reimagined in so many different ways.
We’ve had the dark tones of Tim Burton, the realistic, grounded Nolanverse and now we have a kind of blurring of both in the Telltale series, which started off as a game before, by virtue of its popularity, giving birth to this series of comics. I say blurring because that’s exactly what it is, taking the aspects that worked so well from each of these styles and making something new that falls in between the two.
The artwork here, from Raffaele Ienco, reflects this merging of styles, with Batman and Deadshot both sharing a more realistic approach to their armour, while still having the same iconic masks and Bat emblems displayed prominently. The character designs (obviously) lend themselves well to comics, and being cel-shaded in the game it’s an obvious and easy jump in terms of artistic representation, with the rest of the world adopting the same dark feel.
Impressively, Sins of the Father manages to capture the spirit of the games perfectly. The narrative picks up after the first game during the aftermath of the world learning about the vindictive crimes of Thomas Wayne and how he poisoned the minds of anyone that crossed Carmine Falcone, locking them up in Arkham Asylum. And while that was certainly a fairly contentious decision in the eyes of many traditionalist Bat fans, this story shows just how true to the character the Telltale series really is.
Much like with The Penguin or The Joker we see another parallel to Bruce/Batman in the form of Floyd Lawton, who in this case turns out to be yet another victim of Thomas Wayne; coming from a fortune but suffering at the hands abusive parents who paid their way out of the Asylum and ultimately drove Lawton to the world of homicide in order to save his own skin.
This issue brings the arc to a close in a very satisfying way, with the Bat and the homicidal gunman butting heads after a great buildup that intrigued me in the same way classic Batman tales – and the Telltale Games series – did,. Christos Gage manages to include some really touching moments, developing the character of Bruce Wayne and this particular version of Batman in a variety of different ways. Ultimately then, Sins of the Father serves as an intriguing, grounded addition to the established canon, and is well worth a read, particularly if you’re a fan of the Telltale Games series.
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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